• Football

Fan pays £10,000 to play with the big boys

ESPN staff
August 7, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »

Most fans dream of playing for their club but for 40-year-old James Gorfin that dream came true at the weekend when he made a substitute appearance for Macclesfield in a friendly against Stoke City - but it cost him £10,000.

Gorfin's big day was cut short by injury - his outing cost him around £1000 a minute - but he told the Macclesfield Express he did not regret any of it.

For his money he spent a week with the squad, being put through sprint drills, shooting practice, short-sided matches, before his first-team appearance.

He aggravated a groin strain picked up in practice as he tried to get on the end of a cross. "I tried to put a burst on and when I stretched, that's when it went, I felt it straight away," he told the newspaper. "I knew straight away I'd have to come off; [the physio] iced me up but all I can do is rest it, I'm limping around and it's still hurting now I'm back at work."

Gorfin said the pace of the game was a surprise. "I think everyone reckons they could do better when they're watching a game. You think you'd have loads of time on the ball but it's not as easy as that. It's pretty mental how quick the game is, and I did get smashed by one of the Stoke lads when I got one of my passes away."

In June, Macclesfield announced a plan to raise £20,000 by offering one person the chance to play for the club in a league or cup fixture but the idea was soon shelved after negative reaction. Instead, the lower-price sale of a game in a friendly match was quietly brought in instead.

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